Beat the Visa.

September 2010.

We had a ball at Tambling, ate like kings, drove around the park, didn’t see any roaming tigers, although Micheal and Lena have come across 2 of them, Lena said she told the tiger to shush and be quiet, had a pray and it left her alone. She is a special person, you can just sense it, she has all the boys learning to cook, teaching them English and how to serve up. She has cheffed around the world and Micheal goes with her. 

William was the boss while we were there and went out of his way to make sure we saw everything, wifi you name it and the boys at the wharf were unreal, they liked beer that is for sure. When we left, once again the jetty was crowded and hugs and kisses all round with another new mob. We have been invited to the opening of the Park next year, we won’t miss it.

We set sail at 2130 for Java, Panaitan Island and arrived as the sun came up, perfect timing. We checked out the so called anchorage, bugger that, waves feathering and then breaking 100 metres past it. We needed sleep so we headed to a small island closer to the coast, Pucea, anchored up and went to sleep for 12 hours. Bargain.

After 4 days of getting up going surfing then trecking we took off in the tender to see the oyster eating Maccau’s. This little journey started out fine as we cruised along the coast  but once we got to the end of the island and turned around all we could see was black storm clouds approaching from out of nowhere and of course every window on the boat was open. By the time we got back there was a swimming pool happening in the lounge room and everything was drenched, horror. I was lucky as my bedroom window was shut but it turned into a huge clean up task.Next day it was just getting dry with the AC going flat out for 24hrs. Shocker.

In the end we went ashore to give the locals a soccer ball, clothes and coloring in books and we came across some Poms who were there for the trecking but they had been left on a beach for the night. Their guide assured them the tide was high when they set up, but in true Indo form it wasn’t, one of these guys was still shivering mid morning. They all woke up to find their tents floating, all their gear, including the shivering blokes suitcase which had a couple of bottles of scotch and a bottle of vodka in it, we’re gone. Jen shed a bit of hope on the situation when she said she had seen a box and drinking bottles floating past  the boat earlier on, but it wasn’t theirs. Then to add to their despair a monkey came from nowhere and pinched their jam, which they could not open but the monkey had no problems, then all the pigs came out of the bush for a feed. Good time to leave and we bolted.

The wind had picked up from the South East around 15kns, so we were out of there. If there is wind in Indonesia you should use it, as sure as eggs it won’t be around for long.

We had an excellent sail, 47nm up the west Java coast, top speed 10.8kns, where we found a nice looking bay and anchored up. The fishing boat activity here was unbelievable, thought it must have been a ceremony or something but it was just everyone going to work. They stayed away from us even though we had pressies to hand out, they are definitely shy to us boule’s.

Next day motor sailed around the NW tip and headed east for Jakarta. Can’t get enough of the place, I was keen as on hitting the seafood stalls along a street we came across last time. I ended up taking the boat boys out for Padang sate and about 4 kilos of boiled prawns all covered with salt, the boys were a bit dubious at first but once they Sussed you could either peel them or just bite the tails off and ditch the heads they all got stuck in. Cost 164000rp about 20 bucks. Good value. The ride back to the marina was not for the faint hearted as to cut about 10 minutes off the trip, we went the wrong way across a one way bridge then cut across everyone, horns were going and Froggy was singing away as if nothing was wrong. I got to admit it, I just about shit. We stopped at Syamsul’s mates warran for beers and long beans then headed home.

While in Jakarta this time we found a new shopping centre called the Emporium, had everything even a bottle shop so we bought all the casks of white they had, rum, vodka, beer and a bottle of Moët for the equator.

We found a hooting Yumcha restaurant, May Star, the best so far. Went there twice, the first time they would have thought we were pigs but we got through it, just.

Fuelled up and got the hull washed, diesel was about 80 cents a litre, went up 15 cents in 2 weeks but good quality, yellow so better than the coffee we got in Bali. Apparently everyone had dramas with fuel from Bali, we haven’t even changed a filter since leaving  Freo.

We departed Jakarta at 0430 and headed NNE for Bangka motorsailing at 7 kns all day and got our first real taste of a Sumatera, tropical storm, it got up to 30kns, pissing down rain and choppy as for 3 hours, then it was gone, thank god. We had a ship come at us from starboard and if we hadn’t slowed down it would have T-boned us, amazing really 

out there in all that water. We set our sails and headed for Leper island which is just that  and anchored up. A fisherman came across and held up a beautiful probably 5kg Goldie, like a large finger mark brim, it smelt like the sea, eyes were jet black and was definitely the best fish we have eaten in a while. 2 meals for 100000rp, next morning he bought a couple more but we didn’t bother but accepted the bag of squid he wanted us to have. He got some coloring in books and pencils for his kids, beers and a new squid jig.

We left there and headed west to a spot that The Breezies had gone, some flash restaurant but were pretty buggered so just chucked the anchor in and crashed.

We were getting close to Steel de Breeze and arranged to meet on a island called Cebia but it ended up being 20 miles to far and with no idea where to anchor we sailed on into the night towards the next island. All we needed to do was 6 kns but with jib up only we were constantly doing 7.5kns so at around midnight we pulled up dropped the sails and drifted until 0300, that takes a bit of doing just bobbing around in the middle of nowhere trying to sleep. We got going again after drifting 5.8nm in the right direction only had 15nm to go. We circled the group of islands and found a couple of fisherman and with sign language we anchored up in a safe spot. Had a bad feeling about this spot but as the chain wouldn’t budge in 17 metres from the moment it went down. At least I was confident we wouldn’t drift, but getting it back up might be a different matter. 

The Breezies come round the corner just before lunch and anchored up near by. We had a  relaxing day swimming, coconut gathering and setting up a big bonfire for the night.

The afternoon drinks was a beauty and went into the night, after that I can’t really remember, although I do know we didn’t venture back to shore to light the fire.

At 0300 I heard the fisherman start their motor, you can’t miss that sound, and found the boat to be rocking badly, lots of wind and rain. Got the torch out and checked Steel de Breeze, horror, they were rocking and rolling with waves crashing on deck but their anchor was holding, ours was good too and if it made it through this storm and didn’t want to be pulled in, so be it, it would have done its job. The radar showed the storm passing over us, slowly,   but the wind direction changed and had us running parallel to the beach and not directly at it, that was good, although it took another hour to start to settle. That was a pretty crap 3 hours but both boats came out unscafed. Brian and I had sat up through the storm and when the wind had dropped to bugger all a quick sleep was possible.

When I woke up I got Jen in to gear and we tackled the anchor. It took a bit of ginning around and quite a bit of chain tension but after a few minutes up it came, stoked. We  circled the Breezies and got them up and into action, the radar showed another storm about 6nm away, I was pretty keen to get as far away from it as possible. After a bit of chain and anchor torment they were also free and off we went.Unknown-4

Had spinnacker up same as the Breezies then to tight so tried main then it  changed back, couldnt win a trick and we motored the rest of the way but in the end found an excellent anchorage on Lingge Island. Calm and balmy, sparked the AC up and we had a BBQ on board with the Breezies and their fillet steak that they had watched be butchered. Tough as an old boot. We had the yabadabadoo’s from Freo, I overcooked them, dickhead. 

The daily afternoon drinks are becoming more and more dangerous with a few sore heads the next day but at least all you have to do is point the boat in the right direction, cook an omlette and eggs for Madam, sit on your arse and keep it straight. By 1100 it’s beer o’clock, by 1300 it’s time for a nap then up again around 1500 for some pre sundowner beers and then it’s time to go visiting or be visited. The Breezies are good value, excellent travelling companions so we have been very lucky to catch up with them again.

We are off to Nongsa Point today, we spent yesterday arvo on an island handing out gifts and stuff to the kids and some sewing packs that Jens’s mum made up for the mums, they were so funny as they couldn’t make up their minds which pack they wanted as they were all different colors, superb idea Marls, they loved them.

No wind again so a motor all the way, back to the big smoke, might even get a hotel go for  the air conditioning and channel surfing.

Until next time, Seeya.

Captain Rod and Mummy Jenny.

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